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Tasks laid out for tourism scheme Phase I

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Tourism minister Thong Khon speaks at a meeting in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday. TOURISM MINISTER

Tasks laid out for tourism scheme Phase I

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon outlined a range of key tasks for authorities of Preah Sihanouk and Koh Kong provinces to carry out, to ensure the success, effectiveness and safety of the Kingdom’s tourism reopening scheme for travellers who are fully-vaccinated against Covid-19.

Khon was speaking at a preparatory meeting in Preah Sihanouk on November 1, four weeks before the scheme’s first phase is scheduled to launch on November 30.

The government will open Sihanoukville and Koh Rong island in Preah Sihanouk, and the Dara Sakor area of Koh Kong province to fully-jabbed travellers in Phase I.

Khon tasked the provincial secretariats with setting up an information-gathering and decision-making joint working group, creating a technology-driven management system, and gathering and processing data on travellers entering and leaving the designated areas.

He ordered the provincial administrations to pay closer attention to adherence to the guidelines put forth by the Clean City programme, especially in terms of proper waste management, and other cleanliness and hygiene practices.

The minister charged the administrations with looking into land and waterway connections for incoming flights, especially between Sihanoukville, Koh Rong and Dara Sakor.

He instructed them to encourage tour operators and other businesses under their jurisdiction to abide by the recognised tourism safety rules and minimum standard operating procedure (SOP).

Khon required weekly follow-up meetings for pertinent teams to report on progress and issues.

“Vaccinated tourists who travel from safe destinations – Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, the Dara Sakor area or other safe island destinations in the provinces – must travel by ship so that the provincial administrations can control them.”

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin told The Post that thorough inspections were necessary to ensure the safety of tourists and other people in the tourism industry, especially concerning Covid-19.

Improper management will result in a fail for the tourism scheme, she said, adding that the private sector had for the most part put the necessary safety measures in place and tourist attractions were ready to go.

“The private sector has been waiting for this opening for a long time. Preparations to safely receive international tourists are also ready,” she said, adding that new tourism products are waiting for holidaymakers to arrive.

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